mainly on personal finance, a bit on other subjects... a lot of prose, and some poems... all views here are personal, I welcome you to leave your comments
- Book Review (1)
- corporate (14)
- covid (28)
- daffy-nitions (7)
- finance general (27)
- general (35)
- health (43)
- Hindi (2)
- misc (1)
- People (7)
- personal finance (57)
- Poems (96)
- recreational maths (5)
- stock investing (3)
- travel (4)
- trends (17)
- yoga (2)
Monday, August 30, 2021
What is Yoga
A new kind of brain teaser
The wheels of Time
The gist of Personal Finance
Venture, Thy Capital!
Driven by Ideals
Please let them be!
Thursday, August 26, 2021
Covid in Dharavi
What they will never say is that the fatality rate in Dharavi is extremely low. And it will continue to be so, whatever number of variants may emerge.
Add to it the fact that they lead normal lives , not like many of us cloistered at home, panicked in the mind, forever fearing for us and everyone around us, exchanging notes on how little we have stepped out and how tight our masks are, and the irony is complete. We think we are doing it to protect ourselves when the only protection is in following the example of Dharavi, and making sure we get exposed to everything out there.
Those are two worlds out there. The Dharavi world is far more vibrant, and way more healthy.
Friday, August 20, 2021
On Investment Options
Thursday, August 19, 2021
The Legal Luminary turns fifty
One is a software czar,
She shares her birthday,
With a few lesser mortals!
One said he never inhaled,
And he liked to give the suck,
A high position he held,
But he's not a patch on her!
A real luminary,
Who holds her own where she goes,
In a ring full of men,
She's scored many a K.O!
Knockout not just in a fight,
She can kill with her look(s),
Many a heart took flight,
And went aflutter!
When God made her he said,
She will be one of a kind,
Sent her down and broke the mould,
And here we are, fifty years hence!
We wish her fifty more to come,
Of glorious sunrise years,
For the sun never sets,
Where she is around!
Tuesday, August 17, 2021
In our sinecures,
And cosseted lifestyles,
We cannot even hope,
Of a life uprooted,
By a change of circumstance,
A country taken over,
By forces of chaos,
Thrown back to mediaeval times,
Murder, pillage, rape and loot,
Divine right of warlords,
Going back to ancient times,
We are lucky to have lived,
In our little sinecures,
Counting our wealth and indulging,
In our little pastimes,
We cannot even hope to understand,
How worlds can get uprooted,
By forces beyond our control,
And how the little things we take,
Now are so important,
The world was never a safe place,
It is all an illusion,
We spun ourselves into our cocoons,
And fed our delusions,
It's when the fabric tears apart,
That the threads start unraveling,
The tapestry of which we are a part,
Is our place, our time, our good fortune!
Saturday, August 14, 2021
Always with something to do,
If all I've to do is complete,
I will feel strangely empty!
Don't ever rush to do things,
For the list is never ending,
Good to have the same thing on your plate,
To satisfy those who are asking!
Wednesday, August 4, 2021
Subbu of Barings
Both the name and the quals,
He got his Barings right,
VC in Angel form !
Made millions for people,
And then wisely withdrew,
Before the shit hit the ceiling!
Now he roams around the world,
Weddings and temple tours,
Still has his gentle smile,
As if he wouldn't hurt a fly!
Sunday, July 18, 2021
Acting on Stock Recommendations
Stock recommendations are big business. And they are a big addictive pastime. Everyone is always eager to know the "latest stock tip" – nothing wrong with this, it is human nature to want to hear the latest gossip and sundry assorted information of a risqué nature. Stocks may not fit the classical definition of risqué but if you think about it, money is as much of a turn-on as sex is, if not more.
The thing about recommending stocks is, there is an underlying base of theory and knowledge which you need to know, but you never know which pieces of that knowledge are relevant at any point in time. Should I look at growth? Or value? Or momentum? At macro factors, industry factors, or company factors? At long-term or short-term? At buy-and-hold strategies, or quick turnover? How long is long term? Define quick?
So, everyone develops their own theories of stock picking. And they come up with different and varying recommendations. Gather a few people tracking stocks in a room and ask them for their top three picks. It is unlikely that you will find any matches. In case there is an almost uniform consensus that a certain stock is good, then that is precisely the stock one must avoid.
And, everyone will tell you when to buy. Very few people will tell you when to sell.
Also, most stock picking services "include" a particular stock into their buy list, and it stays there till "exit" is announced. AT any point in time there may be fifty stocks in the buy list, all included at various points in time. But this does not help the buyer. As a buyer, at this point in time, I have x amount of money, and I want to deploy it. In which stocks should I deploy it? That is what I am most bothered about. Looking at a list of stocks which have been recommended at various points in time, at various (lower) prices, and looking at how the prices have run up now, and looking at a list of fifty options, is hardly conducive to decision making.
So any stock picking advice needs to be specific. Ideally, if I could predict the future, I would recommend just that one stock that will go up in the next one week. But alas, that is not possible. Or, I could recommend a basket of fifty stocks, and ask you to spread your investment – however, the more one expands the list, the more one is reverting to the mean. Reversion to the mean is not the objective here, the objective is to beat the mean by a wide margin.
The objective is also to have an absolute return that is acceptable. It is not of great comfort to me, when I have suffered a twenty percent loss, to be told that I am doing well since the index has in the same period gone down by thirty percent.
Also, there has to be a commitment from the one who recommends the stocks to also trigger off a sell call.
In my fortnightly stock advisory, I try to be specific, and actionable. Typically, I recommend a list of ten or twelve stocks, with a box for entering how much money you want to invest. The model then throws up precise recommendations of how much to buy, and of which stock. I also track all my buy recommendations and advise when to sell. Between "buy" and "sell" there are periods of "hold" when a stock is not a buy, but not a sell either.
Whether I am doing well or not, only time will tell. A few months is a very short time to judge, but I seem to have started on the right note, with quite a few wins. Once a couple of years passes, and we know how much money we made (or lost) , we can pass judgement.
It is not just about the money. The money is simply a yardstick. The excitement of the game, and outsmarting the market is the real motivator.
Thursday, July 15, 2021
Ghalib for today's times
Monday, July 12, 2021
Sunday, July 11, 2021
Profiting from Unease
Wednesday, July 7, 2021
And decry their plight in life,
Are not truly as they seem,
'Tis just a game, that's Trump!
The Devil changes clothes,
Oppressor to oppressed,
Cries murder most foul,
Though he's wielding the knife!
Disconcert the enemy,
Use their goodness against them,
They who show some pity,
Have it turned against them!
They who would impose laws,
That are the most unjust,
Are first to cry for justice,
Equality, and fair trial!
They who rush to convert,
To their only True Faith,
Are first to rail and rant,
That no one can convert from theirs!
Those who are not secure,
In their own Faith and God,
Are ones who need to gather,
More to praise and exalt theirs!
They who rush to play victim,
Are often the ones who do wrong,
For it's often the Janus,
Who is also Judas!
Friday, July 2, 2021
DRAINING THE SWAMP
Sunday, June 13, 2021
Musings on Stock Investment - Part 1: Abhimanyu and the Chakravyuh
When I was in Fidelity, a Gujarati stock trader who was a big guy in the Finance Industry - I forget his name - was invited by the company to give a talk. I will never forget one analogy that he drew,
We all know the story of Abhimanyu and the Chakravyuh. Abhinmanyu was taught the secret of entering the Chakravyuh when he was in his mother's womb, by his uncle Krishna. At a crucial juncture in the War, Drona arranged his army in this formation. The only three people who knew how to enter this formation were Arjuna, Krishna, and Abhimanyu. Now, Arjuna and Krishna also know how to extricate themselves once they entered it, Abhimanyu did not. Krishna and Arjuna, as it happened, were away in another section of the battlefield and would be unable to help.
So, the uncles ask Abhimanyu, a mere kid in age though not in prowess, to enter the formation. Abhimanyu demurs, saying he does not know how to get out once he is in. All the uncles assure him that they will be just behind him, and help him to get out.
We know how the rest of the story pans out. The uncles who are close behind, are stopped by Jayadratha, and Abhimanyu perishes fighting a glorious battle.
The stock market is also like that. Everyone will tell you when to buy, but no one will alert you when it is time to sell. Once you enter the Chakravyuh, you are left to fend for yourself!
While we recommend stocks for buying, we also intend to keep a close eye and indicate when it is time to sell. That is a process that is easier said than done, for there is no answer to the question 'when is the right time to sell?'.
There are many theories for that. At one extreme is the opportunistic approach of the person who has a typical trader mentality. The moment the price rises a little bit, he wants to sell. 10 percent up, sell part of holding! Another 10 percent up, sell the whole thing! What this person may be missing out on, is on the phenomenal rise later on, the initial twenty percent may just be an appetiser.
Then there is the Warren Buffett school which says, even if the stock market is shut for the next five years, and there are no daily quotes, it does not matter, since I do not intend to sell, for say 10 years, or sell never. Now Buffett and his partner Munger are both in their nineties, Bhishma Pitamahas, Maharathis who can fight better than people half their age. They have spent the last seventy years, only studying and thinking and living and breathing Stocks. And just like Bhishma when he was a teenager learnt from Vashishta and Parashurama, Buffett had the advantage of directly learning from Benjamin Graham. The point I am trying to make is, hearing what Buffett says is one thing – and there are several books on Buffett Sayings – but actually implementing it is another thing altogether.
There is also the fact that the market dynamics keep changing, and what was a good philosophy for the last decade may not be applicable any more in the new world.
For example, most stocks today don't do well at all, and are at best middling in their returns, but a few, a very very rare few, shoot up, up, up and away. Just see the tech behemoths in the US, with market-caps in excess of a trillion dollars, and check out their prices, say, seven or ten years back. We are taking of returns in excess of 1000 times!
Take this story of Goldman Sachs who bought a 30% stake in Alibaba in 1999 for 3 million dollars. They were offered 50% stake for 5 million but refused, and invested 3 million instead for the 30%. They sold in 2004 for 22 million. How lovely, they would have thought, and smiled to themselves. If they had held on, their stake would be worth 200 billion dollars, that is 2 lakh million dollars today. From 3 to 2 lakh in 22 years – that is about 65,000 times, or 65 lakh percent. Winner takes all!
When we look at stocks, and try to decide on when to sell, the following considerations are all relevant:
1. Try to identify companies with potential for extreme growth. Now, being value investors at heart, we are always tempted to buy it at the right "value" as well. Whether the 'value' parameters are relevant or not we do not know, but it is difficult to let go of them. Graham was a total 'value' kind of investor, following what is called the cigar-butt approach to investing, but Buffett went beyond that and tried to identify companies that had potential for strong growth, i.e. companies with 'moats'. Hence the Coca Cola type of scrip, and also insurance companies which threw up cash, and railroads when they were at a low – all this propelled Berkshire Hathway to where it is today. But even Buffett missed out on the tech boom – he has made amends in the recent past, and it may be a bit late, but it shows that the two Pitamahas are still not too old to learn.
2. Now, we do not know which companies of the ones we have shortlisted for their 'extreme growth potential' will do well. A couple of them may. The rest may die a gory death. But, let us look at it this way. The downside is capped, at 100 percent of our investment. The upside is almost infinite, like the story of Alibaba illustrated. So, if we invest in ten such companies and even if one of them does spectacularly well, we will be fine. For such stocks, never sell, hold for the long term.
3. Buy companies with a "moat", which is Buffett's preferred strategy, and hold them for the Long Term. These will always be expensive, at any point in time, but like Buffett says, it is better to buy a great company at a good price, than a (merely) good company cheap. For such stocks, never sell, hold for the long term.
4. Indulge in value buying, if you feel that the stock is unnecessarily beaten down, and will definitely correct to its "average" levels. For such stocks, sell when the "valuation" goes much above the average. Do not hasten to sell, for you may never know if the market is going to take it up still higher – perhaps, a trailing stop-loss is the answer in such a situation, like it happened with us in the case of Ion Exchange. We had recommended it at 700 levels in September 2020, but it rose to 1600 levels by end May, and then shot up in one day by twenty more percent hitting the circuit, and is currently at 2100 levels. We have put that on a trailing stop loss.
5. The mistakes: Huhtamaki PPL which we kept recommending, never went up, and finally dropped more than ten percent below our average purchase price. We recommended booking a loss.
6. For cyclical stocks, rather than 'analyse' them based on the usual parameters, it is probably better to have a floor price below which you will buy and a ceiling price above which you will sell.
These are some of the considerations that I keep thinking about when we buy stocks, and think about when is the right time to sell. I am not comfortable with the Coffee Can philosophy of buy, hold and forget for ten years; but I am not comfortable with the 'quick turnaround' philosophy either. And, just because I have listed some considerations for buying and selling, does not mean that I will be able to consistently follow them. The stock market tests all your theories, all your models, and all your resolutions, constantly shakes your self-belief and makes you doubt yourself. Having said that, I do have a process, which I keep honing all the time, and I shall hopefully be able to stick to it and make us some meaningful money.
Friday, June 11, 2021
A personal finance manifesto
Monday, June 7, 2021
खुली सांस भी नही लेते हैं,
हवा को दुश्मन मानते हैं,
और पड़ोसी को कीटाणु,
किसी को भीतर नहीं आने देते,
ना घर में ना दिल में,
घुटन से हर पल मरते हैं,
सांसों में और रिश्तों में,
टीके की उम्मीद रखते हैं,
कि उसके सहारे जी लेंगे,
लेकिन दुनिया में कीटाणु भरे पड़े हैं,
हर एक के लिए टीका नहीं है
Thursday, May 27, 2021
Exposure builds immunity
Wanting it All
Tuesday, May 25, 2021
Into The Magic Shop by James R Doty : Book Review
Just read this book, Into the Magic Shop, by James R Doty, MD. It bills itself as a "Neurosurgeon's quest to discover the mysteries of the brain and the secrets of the heart."
A wonderful read – it has been a long time since I finished a book in a single sitting. It is much more than what it claims to be. It is a heart-warming story of success against all odds, about life's vicissitudes and about passion, to one's profession, and towards whatever one wants to manifest in one's life. But it also more than that.
The story is quite simple. Poor buy fights against all odds to reach success. Becomes a neurosurgeon. Becomes famous. Loses all his money in the dot.com crash. Then he picks up the pieces and builds his life again. Ends up as Director of CCARE – Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford, for which the Dalai Lama is the Chief Patron. So far, nothing very different from the usual heroic-achiever stories.
But it is different in the way he achieves his success. When he is a boy, he finds a teacher who teaches him the secrets of manifesting whatever he wants in his life, by desiring it deeply. It is the same trope of "the universe conspiring to give you what you want, if only you believe in it strongly enough", except that the path to achieving it, is set out in exceedingly simple terms.
His teacher starts first by teaching him how to relax. The technique is exactly the same as that used for Savasana in Hatha Yoga. Swamit Satyananda Saraswathi of the Bihar School of Yoga, while talking about meditation, spoke about how important it is to relax first. Most people fail to see this connection.
From relaxation, the teacher leads him on to techniques of concentration, which are very beautifully laid out – the book touches on the three most effective techniques for concentration (which leads to meditation) - focusing on one's breath, staring at the flame of a candle, and chanting a mantra. It is all done in a natural way, like when you would explain to a twelve year old, for that is how old the author is when he is learning all this.
And then, it talks of visualization, and manifesting whatever you want in your life. The Dhammapada, in its first two verses, says "1. Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think. Suffering follows an evil thought as the wheels of a cart follow the oxen that draw it. 2. Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think. Joy follows a pure thought like a shadow that never leaves." (The Dhammapada, Eknath Eswaran's translation)
The teacher first teaches him to "open his heart" which is the seat of wisdom, and then the techniques to bring into his life all that he wants manifested. The techniques are described in a very simple way, but it is one of the best manuals on meditation I have read, explained in a few, simple, concrete steps, devoid of all jargon.
The book is written in a very direct, simple style, and it manages to do what all good books do – put you in the shoes of the protagonist and make you look at life through his lens, and share in his journey. All in all, a good read, short, sweet, and insightful.
Saturday, May 22, 2021
A Crossword Setter
Never do they like to think straight,
With their crosswords and cryptic clues,
They will lead your thinking astray!
Anyone who solves those crosswords,
Is suspicious to the extreme,
With them, never you bandy words,
For they twist them and mangle them!
As to one who sets the damn things,
He is a certified crazy,
For you have to be insane,
To set those infernal things!
Beware, all you my countrymen,
Of all these crossword setters,
There is not one among them,
Who can ever be trusted!
Thursday, May 20, 2021
On a galactic journey,
He turned left and then left,
At the next turning!
Where he left to no one knows,
He left in the dark of night,
Was he right, too, no one knows,
For he left nothing behind!
They are still looking for him,
In every road and its tangent,
For no one can really say,
Where DT guess, or where he went!
Tuesday, May 11, 2021
The Four Yogas
Expecting not any rewards,
Do not fall into inaction,
For therein lies the wrong path!
Immerse yourself in what you do,
You are no different from the Work,
In immersion lies Mastery,
It flows on its own, as it were!
Dedicate your work, all, to Him,
There is peace in the surrender,
Once you drop all expectations,
The world places itself at your feet!
Forever strive to distinguish,
The Transient from the Real,
The world attracts with lots of tinsel,
The Truth is hidden, plainly in sight!
THE FOUR YOGAS
Monday, May 10, 2021
The covid panic continues
Sunday, May 9, 2021
The Walking Quartet
The Walking Quartet.
Without fail , from 4.45 to 6 pm, I used to see these four ladies... Walking at such a brisk pace that I would find it difficult to keep up.
Of late, I am not seeing all of them together, hopefully that should correct itself soon.
For there are certain things that you become so used to, you look forward to them.
- - - - - - -
Every day you see them,
The Quartet, without fail,
Walking in the evening,
At a frenetic pace!
Come rain, come shine, they walk,
Not a day they miss,
Overtake them you can't,
They have wings on their feet!
Everyday you see them,
In the evening at five,
Rushing to turn the corner,
There they go whizzing by!
Now you see them, now you don't,
By the time you turn around,
You've to be quick to catch them,
Unless you run, you can't!
Saturday, May 8, 2021
Nature will strike back
The body has 100 trillion germs ( don't beat me up if it is a billion or two off, in case you happen to count). Of which ten percent is "us" and the balance is "outsiders".
If a lake is dirty due to stagnant water, and mosquitoes breed there, how will you clean the lake?
One approach is to pump the lake with poisons. The mosquitoes die, but the lake becomes more polluted as a result.
The other approach is to let sunlight through, let the water flow, remove the weeds, in short let the lake's "prana" , the vital energy , flow.
Our body is that lake. Drugs, especially of the allopathic kind, are the poisons that we pump in. Antibiotics cause immense damage to the gut bacteria. It takes a couple of months to recover from a course of antibiotics. Vaccines are even worse, they are a bunch of deadly chemicals. Steroids are very harmful too. At least these can be justified on the grounds of "emergency" or "single use" , pay the price and recover later.
But what about lifelong drugs for lifestyle diseases, the blood thinners, the anti cholesterol medicines, the statins? Rather than changing their lifestyle, people continue eating processed foods, ordering take-outs from restaurants ( which by definition is inferior), don't exercise... The list is long, and the effect on the health compounds over a period of time.
And then, when threatened with "germs" which by the way have always been there, and will continue to be there, they rush to pump further poisons into their bodies , and further weaken their immune systems!
By the way, those who think the vaccine is a one time solution are sadly mistaken. Each vaccine protects only against existing variants. The germs keep mutating, that is in their nature and it is their dharma to mutate.
So the pharma companies will now convince us that annual booster shots are required. It is not the "weakened virus" in the vaccine that one should be worried about, but the cocktail of deadly chemicals that it floats in.
The holy grail of the pharma industry is to make healthy people consume drugs, Including young people and children.
What is the point if only sick people take drugs? No profits to be made there.
And we are all willing participants, or should I say victims, in this deadly race to the bottom!
If we ignore the laws of Nature, Nature will strike back and we will pay a price.
We don't have to wait that long for nature to strike back, strike back it will.
Wednesday, May 5, 2021
The Big G
When comes the Big G,
Big G's like wrestling,
With stubborn pit bull,
She gets hold of you,
There's no letting go!
Big G is prepared,
Does her homework well,
No one ever dares,
To call her to account!
Big G likes to see,
Facts and data points,
She throws them at you,
You will likely drown!
Big G sparks the life,
Sometimes bit too much,
Chaps get electrified,
Not just singed, but burnt!
Big G likes to say,
It, the way it is,
Then they really face it!
Big G, makes music,
Big bass drums, a boom!
The word then goes out,
One-Man army has come!
Thursday, April 29, 2021
Of several different colours,
Worn each upon the other,
Through which the light passes!
The colours are of our choice,
Or collected over years,
Quite a set we amass,
As we get on in years!
And now the world I see,
Is quite different from yours,
I wonder why you don't see,
What to me is clear!
Friday, April 23, 2021
काश मेरा मन करता
लेकिन ये कम्बक्त करोना ने,
प्यार को बैन कर दिया है।
काश मेरा मन करता,
मैं जीवन को जीकर देखूं,
लेकिन ये कम्बक्त करोना से,
हर दिन मर जाता हूं।
काश मेरा मन करता,
किसी की हसी देखूं,
लेकिन ये कम्बक्त करोना ने,
सब का चहरा ढक दिया है।
काश मेरा मन करता,
खुली हवा में घूम आऊं,
लेकिन ये कम्बक्त करोना ने,
मुझे कैद कर दिया है।
काश मेरा मन करता,
कि मुझमे साहस जागे,
हर नियम को मैं तोड़ दूं,
और जिंदगी पूरी तरह से जी लूं।
Sunday, April 18, 2021
Better by far, to live
Can't meet, can't greet,
Can't pray, can't work,
Need to stay at home!
Can't smile, can't breathe,
Can't talk, can't sneeze,
Can't laugh, can't move,
The very air is death!
Am scared, I fear,
All things, far and near,
I hide, I quiver,
The world is menacing!
The fear, it gnaws,
Into my very vitals,
Its icy fingers pierce,
My very being!
I die, every minute,
Every hour, a thousand deaths,
I die, every day,
From morning, to night!
Better by far, to live,
And die only once,
When the time is nigh!
The world of Valuations
VC's are vying with each other to fund companies that have a high "burn" rate.
Here , take my money, burn it!
No, no, mine, burn mine first!
No, please, me! I am a marquee money burner, having us on board will get you more money to burn!
The promoter looks around with an appraising eye, and picks one of them.
And then goes to the pavement outside and starts distributing the money. Not just like that. He uses big data, analytics, cloud computing, IOT, neural networks, AI and ML to do so. It is considered very essential to be forward looking and use the latest technological advancements to give money away.
Meanwhile the world is roiled by unrest, jobs are being lost everywhere, and there is a pandemic cutting a swathe of destruction, not as much due to the disease itself, as due to the illogical reaction of people born out of fear.
The promoter uses the opportunity of turmoil in the world, to increase his burn rate. That keeps his investors happy. They are always pressurising the promoter to be more opportunistic and seize every available opportunity to burn more money.
The investors demand more! They always do, that is in their blood, so we shall excuse them for it. Our promoter is under pressure. So he announces a paise ka dahan on the lines of Holika Dahan, and makes a bonfire of money. Not literally of course, but he uses big data, AI and ML and all the rest, to give away 100 million dollars in one night.
The investors are happy.
Meanwhile, many investors who have missed the earlier round ( Round C) are suffering from a severe case of FOMO, and demand that they be allowed to give some money. The promoter reluctantly accedes to Round C.2 for 100 million dollars of opportunity. Why C point 2, and not Round D, you ask? Well, you see, the promoter is from the software industry, and he feels that unless there is a significant jump in the technology of burning money, the fundraising should not jump to the next alphabet. He reflects deeply and is forced to concede that unless he uses Robotics, which his team is working on, to give away money, he cannot in all conscience, call it Round D.
Meanwhile the promoter becomes a folk hero in his hometown, Bangalore. He is invited to seminars where they discuss how to burn more money. His story serves as inspiration to a group of young techies who go around with matches in one hand, and a business plan in the other, hoping to catch a VC in an elevator for thirty seconds, whom they can unleash their "elevator pitch" on. It is of course well known in start-up circles that if you want to raise funds, you need to hang around elevators, waiting for VC's to walk in.
Once, Cred, Dunzo, and Nyka promoters meet in an elevator.
The Dunzo promoter says, I lose hundred rupees for every delivery I make. Beat that!
The Cred promoter says, I lose thousand rupees every second. Beat that, and gives a smirk.
The Nyka promoter, who is a lady, looks at them pityingly. I raised Series A to F, each time increasing my valuation. And now, I am going in for an IPO! BEAT THAT!
The other two promoters concede defeat. For the IPO is the holy grail. It is where millions of people queue up to give you money to burn, and your personal stake gets valued at over a billion, and you get invited to give Ted Talks.
Friday, April 16, 2021
The Common Man
From a whole bunch of delusions,
He thinks that he really matters,
It is for him that the world runs!
The world runs in order to serve him,
And ensure his health and welfare -
Man always loved his illusions,
Which the powerful feed and pander!
Bread, and Circuses, are needed,
Realised the Romans of old,
Add to that now constant feeding,
Through media, and, of course, Fear!
When man is not driven by greed,
To step out and attempt great deeds,
He is by his fear constrained,
To mask himself and shackle his feet!
These two emotions run his life,
And he runs himself ragged to death,
While the ones who cause the strife,
Pander to him, for gains immense!
The Common Man
Tuesday, April 13, 2021
My School Whatsapp Group
It is our pet menagerie,
Where all kinds of animals reside,
Strutting their idiosyncracies!
There is the elephant who walks,
Of long memory, teller of tales,
There is the parrot who screeches,
Whenever anybody speeches*!
There is the baboon who screams,
Dekh loonga tum sub saalon ko,
There is the hippo whose skin is,
So thick it refuses to get poked!
There is flighty wafflebird,
Who always flies on a tangent,
There is the much feared lioness,
Who kills her prey with her arguments!
There is the cheeky rainbow bird,
Who pulls the rabbit out of a hat,
With colorful past and plumage,
Who holds the lioness in high esteem!
There is the sesquipedalian,
Walrus who holds long discourse,
What he says no one understands,
For he can be a tad verbose!
There's the badger who's dug himself in,
In remote faraway fields,
Who likes to talk about politics,
When he is not busy farming!
There is a raucous nightingale,
Who fancies himself to be a bard,
There is a sluggish pompous whale,
Who is never amused, harrumphing!
The dormouse opens a single eye,
Keeping guard through his slumber,
The wolf peeks out from his lair,
To pounce when the time is right!
The frog patiently sits and listens,
And asks questions of one and all,
The crane mostly sleeps but is waiting,
To swoop down and give battle!
The owl watches from his lofty perch,
Disdaining all the goings on,
The cricket just gives his commentary,
Doesn't miss anything at all!
The fox has donned a new avatar,
Goes around preaching to one and all,
The sloth listens to him and all agape,
While refusing to stir at all!
The bear sits on top of a rock,
With predictions of gloom and doom,
Counting numbers on his abacus,
For whoever cares to listen!
The elk retires to a corner,
With a rosary in his hand,
But butts in with an opinion,
When he can't bear what's going on!
The eagle watches from afar,
Missing nothing that's going on,
Every now and then he weighs in,
With his acerbic opinions!
That's just some of the denizens,
We meet them all when we come,
Always battling and making up,
Strutting and preening for no reason!